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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Feb;1823(2):227-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2011.09.014. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Notch signaling proteins HES-1 and Hey-1 bind to insulin degrading enzyme (IDE) proximal promoter and repress its transcription and activity: implications for cellular Aβ metabolism.

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  • 1Fundación Instituto Leloir-Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas Buenos Aires-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Patricias Argentinas 435, C1405BWE, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Cerebral amyloid β (Aβ) accumulation is pathogenically associated with sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD). BACE-1 is involved in Aβ generation while insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) partakes in Aβ proteolytic clearance. Vulnerable regions in AD brains show increased BACE-1 protein levels and enzymatic activity while the opposite occurs with IDE. Another common feature in SAD brains is Notch1 overexpression. Here we demonstrate an increase in mRNA levels of Hey-1, a Notch target gene, and a decrease of IDE transcripts in the hippocampus of SAD brains as compared to controls. Transient transfection of Notch intracellular domain (NICD) in N2aSW cells, mouse neuroblastoma cells (N2a) stably expressing human amyloid precursor protein (APP) Swedish mutation, reduce IDE mRNA levels, promoting extracellular Aβ accumulation. Also, NICD, HES-1 and Hey-1 overexpression result in decreased IDE proximal promoter activity. This effect was mediated by 2 functional sites located at -379/-372 and -310-303 from the first translation start site in the -575/-19 (556 bp) fragment of IDE proximal promoter. By site-directed mutagenesis of the IDE promoter region we reverted the inhibitory effect mediated by NICD transfection suggesting that these sites are indeed responsible for the Notch-mediated inhibition of the IDE gene expression. Intracranial injection of the Notch ligand JAG-1 in Tg2576 mice, expressing the Swedish mutation in human APP, induced overexpression of HES-1 and Hey-1 and reduction of IDE mRNA levels, respectively. Our results support our theory that a Notch-dependent IDE transcriptional modulation may impact on Aβ metabolism providing a functional link between Notch signaling and the amyloidogenic pathway in SAD.

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